Torah Riddles Test #86

1.     Question: Why does the Shev Shmaysa 1:1 rely on majority to resolve a doubt whether fruit are orlah outside of Israel but the Gemara at the end of The first chapter of Kiddushin says we always poskin leniently by orlah outside of Israel even if there is a majority poskening stringently which means we don’t go by the majority?


A. Orlah is the mitzvah not being allowed to eat the fruits from a tree the first 3 years after it was planted.

B. The Shev Shmaysa poskins that if one is in doubt whether fruit are orlah from a tree planted outside of Israel then he can be lenient and eat it unless there is a majority, let say the majority of fruit in the pile this fruit was found in is for sure orlah then the fruit in doubt is prohibited because it’s not considered a doubt anymore.

C. The Gemara at the end of the first chapter of Kiddushin says that whichever rabbi is lenient by orlah outside of Israel, the halacha is like him even if there are a majority of rabbis that argue on him.

D. The Shaarei Yosher (gate 3) says: Ruling according to the majority is a rule in the Torah, not that it is clarifying something. But the majority is being used as a clarifier when there is a doubt whether a certain specific fruit is orlah or not, outside of Israel.

Answer: Even though there is a rule in the Torah that we poskin like the majority but since there is also a rule that we permit orlah in doubt outside of Israel then it is not possible to poskin like the majority since there is still the reality that there is a doubt here. But when figuring out whether this fruit is orlah or not then majority can clarify that in fact it is orlah and we can’t be lenient since majority rules there is no doubt here.